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ADVERTISEMENT TO THE EIGHTH EDITION.
The extraordinary and increasing favour with which the Universal Pronouncing Gazetteer has been received, has induced the authors to prepare, at great labour and expense, a NEW EDITION, intended to supply what has been felt by all, as a serious defect in the former editions of the work; namely, its want of fulness with respect to the number of names. When the first edition of the Gazetteer was prepared, it was absolutely impossible for the authors to obtain any reliable information respecting a multitude of foreign names, of which, therefore, if they gave any pronunciation at all, they must give one based on the most vague and uncertain conjecture. They were reduced to the alternative of choosing between the defect of incompleteness and that of inaccuracy. These was of course no room for hesitation. They believed that to ascertain and fix the pronunciation of a few hundred difficult names would be a greater service to the cause of education, than to give the pronunciation of ten times the number at random, or upon mere conjecture. They were sensible, moreover, that without accuracy they could not hope to inspire that confidence which is so essential to the permanent reputation and success of a work of this kind.
In the seven years which have elapsed since the first publication of the work, many new sources of information have been opened, not to mention the assistance which greater experience, and the habit of investigating everything which could throw any light upon the subject of geographical orthoepy, must necessarily confer. Availing themselves of these new facilities, the authors have at length under
taken to remedy, as far as possible, the unavoidable deficiences occur. ring in the former editions of the Gazetteer.
A SUPPLEMENT has been added, giving the pronunciation of from 1500 to 2000 additional names. For the convenience of reference, all the difficult names contained in the Gazetteer, and those now added for the first, are given together in the Supplement, each in its alphabetical place. Hence, as a mere pronouncing vocabulary, the Supplement will be found to be complete in itself.
It should be observed that the Appendix has been added chiefly for the purpose of giving the small towns, &c., of the United States. The pronunciation of the names, in this portion of the work, has rarely been given, partly because the larger number of them can readily be pronounced by any ne who knows how to read, and partly on account of the insuperable difficulties inherent in the task itself. (See Preface to the Supplement, p. 649–50.) It has been the aim of the authors to concentrate, in the Appendix, a large amount of information, into the smallest possible compass. By the employment of small-sized type and a few additional abbreviations, they have generally been able to condense the notice of the smaller places into a single line, so that, without greatly increasing the size of the work, there has been a most important and extensive addition to its matter.
for If the inquirer seeks the pronunciation of any difficult name, let him look for it in the Supplement, where it will be found if it occurs in the book at all. If he is desirous of obtaining any other information respecting the town, river, &c., and should not find a brief notice in the Supplement, he must refer to the body of the work-unless the name has an asterisk prefixed, in which case he will find it in the Appendix.
1 The attention of teachers is particularly invited to the Table at the end of the Introduction, exhibiting the diversity which prevails in the mode of writing geographical names ;also to the List of geographical names most frequently mispronounced, at the end of the Supplement.
In offering to the public a book like the present, which, as respects some of its more important characteristics, is quite new, the authors feel themselves called upon to explain briefly the object and nature of the work, as well as the motives which induced them to undertake it.
They had themselves often felt the want of a geographical dictionary, to which they might refer for the pronunciation of the names, as well as for the description, of places. They were also convinced by the concurrent testimony of a number of teachers of the highest respectability and of great experience, that the want of such a work was extensively felt; the absence of any standard of geographical pronunciation, rendering it extremely difficult to determine the proper mode of pronouncing many names which are found in the elementary works used in our schools. On inquiring more particularly among persons of different classes and occupations, they were led to the belief that a pronouncing gazetteer, if properly executed, would be generally acceptable to the community.
To fix upon the most eligible system of pronunciation, was a point of the highest importance, but it did not appear to be one of extraordinary difficulty. They determined, in accordance with what they believed to be the prevailing sense of the more intelligent, and the prevailing practice of the better educated, to give the pronunciation of all geographical names, as nearly as possible, as they are pronounced by the well educated people of the respective countries to which they
belong, with the exception of those well known foreign names which appear to have acquired a fixed English pronunciation, as Paris, NAPLES, &c. In these cases, it has been their aim to give the English pronunciation according to the usage of the best speakers: at the same time the pronunciation of the people of the country has been added, for the satisfaction of those who might feel any curiosity on the subject. Thus they have given Pårl-is, as the proper mode for an Englishman or an American to pronounce this name, at the same time adding the name as spoken by the French, which might be written Pår-ree: and so with respect to most other well known names in foreign countries.
It is admitted that cases not unfrequently occur, in which it is impossible to convey, with any great degree of precision, the native pronunciation of other countries by means of English letters; but something is undoubtedly gained by such an approximation to the true sound, as would enable one more readily to understand, and to be understood by, those who are familiar with the names of places as spoken by the inhabitants themselves.
Some have indeed maintained the propriety of pronouncing foreign names as they are written, giving to every letter its proper English sound. But this system appears to be attended with greater difficulties than any other, since different persons would differ with regard to the proper English sound of many letters or combinations of letters. Thus the river SEINE might be pronounced seen or sane ;-we have heard those, we think, unacquainted with French, more frequently call it seen, and it is doubtful whether, even among the better educated; there is one in fifty who could say without some reflection, to which pronunciation the scale of analogy would incline. A few probably would call it sine, and others might pronounce the final e
This one instance out of a multitude may perhaps serve to